Rights and powers over workplace must be reined in
National Industrial Relations Spokesperson
Thursday 9 August 2000
Extensive union rights and powers over workplace must be reined in
National will today move to pull back wide union powers and rights over workplaces currently contained in the Employment Relations Bill, National's Industrial Relations spokesperson Max Bradford said today.
"We will fight on behalf of the thousands of employers and staff worried about the extensive new union powers contained in the Bill.
"The legislation opens the door of almost any business to almost any union - even if no-one working there belongs to the union or wants to.
"The law must be toned down. A union representative's right to enter a workplace - even if there are no union members there - must be removed. (clause 22)
"We also believe unions must give 24 hours notice of planned entry to a workplace and visits must be restricted to normal business hours. (clause 22)
"These amendments are a sensible approach to industrial relations and need to be made if we are to have employment law that does not curb economic and job growth.
"The Government has also opened the door to convicted criminals acting as bargaining agents. We will be pursuing amendments this morning banning people convicted in the last 10 years of an offence punishable by 5 years in jail entering workplaces. (clause 22)
"Employers should also be able to deny workplace access to a union representative if it endangers the health or safety of an employee. (clause 23)
"National wants unions to be open about their sources of funding and will push to make unions include an annual return of donations to political parties, MPs and candidates. (clause 18)
"These amendments to Part Four of the Bill are designed to water-down the new wide-ranging powers Labour and the Alliance want to hand over to unions."